Life is never as perfect as it seems.
Tensions that have lurked beneath the surface of a shiny new subdivision rise up, in new fiction from the author of the Toronto Book Award—shortlisted The Wondrous Woo
The suburbs of the 1970s promised to be heaven on earth—new houses, new status, happiness guaranteed. But in a Scarborough subdivision populated by newcomers from all over the world, a series of sudden catastrophic events reveals that not everyone’s dreams come true. Moving from house to house, Carrianne Leung explores the inner lives behind the tidy front gardens and picture-perfect windows, always returning to June, an irrepressible adolescent Chinese-Canadian coming of age in this shifting world. Through June and her neighbours, Leung depicts the fine line where childhood meets the realities of adult life, and examines, with insight and sharp prose, how difficult it is to be true to ourselves at any age.
“This is a [book] that dazzles with its subtly, that befriends its reader in the dead of night, that leaves a lasting impression and a new way of understanding people and the world.”
Praise for The Wondrous Woo
“Heady, necessary writing from an author brilliantly talented and exquisitely attuned to the everyday in all of its desperation and rare beauty.”
“Amazing, heart-breaking, probing, tender; apocalyptic, in the truest sense. With an activist’s compassion and a poet’s eye, Leung challenges everything we knew (or thought we knew) about the suburbs. . . . This is the best coming-of-age story I’ve read in a long time.”
“At turns poignant, sad, haunting and funny.”
City of Toronto Book Award Finalist
“The Wondrous Woo is the kind of tale that can bring out the super-hero in readers too.”
“With compassion and masterful storytelling, Leung walks us past neat front yards to show us that life in the suburbs isn’t as tidy as it seems. That Time I Loved You is about children losing innocence and adults burying pain, and yet also a hopeful portrayal of friendship, kinship, community.”
“That Time I Loved You made me laugh, cry, feel, and think. . . .[Leung’s] sharp writing spans racial, cultural, and class lines to find the heart and beauty of the individual lives within. I loved this book.”
“Leung reveals a suburb on the cusp of change, families whose names are no longer Smith and Watson, but rather Chow and Da Silva. Leung illuminates with clear unassuming prose and much compassion, a neighbourhood that is complex, disturbing, funny, sad and very human.”
“Carrianne Leung moves beyond the genre of youth lit by honestly confronting loss, love, sex, culture, mental health and the vulnerabilities that these experiences expose.”